Ricardo Carvalho Biography

Fri 05 March 2021 | 14:30

In the following article, we take a look at the biography of the Portuguese Ricardo Carvalho, one of the best central defenders of his generation,

Ricardo Carvalho, born on 18 May 1978, in Amarante, is a Portuguese former professional footballer and current coach who played as a central defender. His last club was Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League.

Carvalho made his debut in the Portuguese top flight in 1997 for Leça FC. The following year he played his first match for Porto. The first title of his career was the 1998 Portuguese Super Cup. After that, he played on loan at Vitória Setúbal and Alverca and quickly became one of the most promising defenders in his country. He returned to Porto in 2001 and since then - apart from the Super Cup won in 1998 - he won seven other titles, the most important of them the

Champions League


He then joined the English club


for €30 million. On British soil, he continued his impressive run of triumphs, winning a total of ten titles:

English Premier League

(3), Football League Cup (2),

FA Cup

(3) and Community Shield (2). He also established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the world, sharing the stage with other well-known defenders such as John Terry and the Brazilian Alex.

In a surprise move in 2010,

Real Madrid

signed him for €8 million. At the age of 32, the signing did not seem very attractive. However, in his first season, the centre-back impressed in the Spanish side's defence - he played 31 games in

La Liga

- and won the

Copa del Rey

. In his second season, he lost his place in the team, although he still won the La Liga title. His last title in


was the Spanish Super Cup in 2012.

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All You Need to Know About Ricardo Carvalho Biography

Carvalho debuted in the Portugal national football team on 11 October 2003, in a match versus Albania. He subsequently played for his country at the 2004 European Championship, 2006 World Cup, 2008 European Championship and 2010 World Cup. He and his teammates reached the final in 2004 but lost to Greece.

Carvalho retired from the international level in 2011 but returned to the team in October 2014. Coach Fernando Santos took him to the 2016 European Championship a year and a half later. There the Portuguese won a major international tournament for the first time. Carvalho made three appearances, in the group matches.

Ricardo Carvalho Information

Now that we know him better, in this section of 

Ricardo Carvalho biography

 we want to share some general information about him such as 

Ricardo Carvalho nationality

 to let you know him even more. Stay tuned.

Ricardo Carvalho Bio

  • Full Name: Ricardo Alberto Silveira de Carvalho

  • Nickname: Ricky

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Ricardo Carvalho Physical Stats

  • Weight: 78 Kg

  • Height: 1.83 m

  • Eye Color: Green

  • Hair Color: Dark Brown

Ricardo Carvalho Football Information

  • Position: Defender

  • Jersey Number: 6

  • Professional Debut: 1997

Ricardo Carvalho Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 18 May 1978

  • Birth Place: Amarante, Portugal

  • Zodiac Sign: Taurus

  • Nationality: Portuguese

Now in this section of 

Ricardo Carvalho biography,

 we want to share more information about him such as 

Ricardo Carvalho childhood

, so stay tuned.

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Ricardo Carvalho Early Life

Carvalho was born in Amarante in 1978. He started playing football on the local Amarante FC team. His performances quickly caught the eye of the scouts at

FC Porto

, who decided to integrate him into their youth academy in 1996.

Ricardo Carvalho Profile

He made his professional debut with Leça where he was loaned. Between 1999 and 2001 he was also on loan to Vitória Setubal and FC Alverca. He returned to Porto in the 2001-02 season, being only the third choice of defenders behind Jorge Costa and Jorge Andrade. It wasn't until April 2002, after the loan of Jorge Costa to

Charlton Athletic

that Carvalho became a regular starter in defence alongside Jorge Andrade: he took part in 25 league matches that season.

The following season, under José Mourinho, Jorge Costa returned to Porto but Jorge Andrade was transferred to Deportivo la Coruna. This allowed Carvalho to gradually make a starting place for himself, playing most of the club's important matches, including the UEFA Cup final where Porto beat Celtic Glasgow 3-2. Carvalho won his first international trophy there and was voted "Portuguese Player of the Year".

It was during the 2003-04 season that Carvalho gained worldwide acclaim: his high-level performances helped the club win the league title for the second consecutive year, but most notably they managed to win the Champions League against

AS Monaco

(3-0). That season enabled Carvalho to be elected best defender of the year by UEFA, to be part of the UEFA's team of the year and to be among the 50 players who were candidates for the Ballon d'Or (finishing ninth).

At the end of the season, Carvalho was watched by several major European clubs. In the end, it was Chelsea, where his coach José Mourinho had just signed, that managed to recruit him for a little over 20 million euros.

Now in this section of

Ricardo Carvalho biography

, we want to share more information about his Chelsea career.

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At Stamford Bridge, Carvalho rejoined Jose Mourinho as well as his former team-mate Paulo Ferreira. He had a good first season, helping Chelsea win the Premier League for the first time in 50 years and the League Cup. He scored his first goal for Chelsea in a 3-1 win over

Norwich City


The 2005-06 season got off to a more difficult start for him after he publicly criticized Mourinho's decision not to select him for the first game of the season. He gradually came back in the autumn, distinguishing himself with a series of Champions League goals against Real Betis and


. In January 2007, Carvalho received a red card for the first time since joining Chelsea.

His injury against Bolton on 28 April prevented him from taking part in the FA Cup final (1-0 win over

Manchester United

), the return leg of the Champions League semi-finals against


(elimination) and the end of the league which saw Chelsea triumph once again. His season's performances earned him a nomination for the title of "Defender of the Year" and "Player of the Year" in the Premier League.

Carvalho maintained his excellent performance in 2007-08. Real Madrid then tried to lure him in following the departure of his coach José Mourinho, but the Portuguese stayed at Chelsea. He was rewarded for his good performances with a goal in his 150th match for the club and also made his 100th appearance for the club in the Premier League.

In July 2009, he informed Chelsea that he wanted to join Mourinho at Inter Milan after a difficult 2008-09 season marked by recurring knee problems. Finally, due to the lack of interest on the part of the Italian club, the transfer did not go through and Carvalho managed to put aside his physical problems.

The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti at the head of the team, coupled with a better physical shape, enabled Carvalho to regain his starting place at Chelsea. He made a good start to the 2009-10 season, scoring a goal against Manchester United in the Community Shield and being voted "Man of the Match" on that occasion. On 20 December 2009, Carvalho made his 200th appearance for Chelsea. An injury at the end of the season prevented him from taking part in the title match (his third league title win with Chelsea) and the FA Cup final (1-0 win).

At the end of the season, Carvalho once again expressed his desire to join José Mourinho, who had left for Real Madrid. On 24 July, he declared: "If there was a possibility of signing at Real Madrid, I would even go swimming or running". On 10 August 2010, his transfer to the Madrid club, at a cost of around 8 million euros, was made official.

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Real Madrid

Carvalho signed a contract with Real Madrid for a period of two years, plus an optional one year. On 24 July he said: "It would be a dream to play for Real Madrid, which I consider to be the best club in the world, and also to be under the best coach in the history of football. With Mourinho, I had two wonderful experiences at Chelsea and Porto. To have the opportunity to win a new Champions League with him at Real Madrid would be great".

He debuted under his new team colors in a friendly match (the Franz Beckenbauer Trophy) against

Bayern Munich

, which saw the Real win.

On the 29th of August 2010, he played his first official match on the first day of La Liga against Mallorca (0-0). On the following day, the 11th of September 2010, he scored his first goal for Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, allowing his club to beat Osasuna (1-0). He began to assert himself as one of Real Madrid's key players, strengthening his team's defensive solidity. On 7 November he was once again decisive, scoring Real's first goal in the Madrid derby against Atletico de Madrid (2-0).

He started the 2011-2012 season as a regular but his recurring injuries, coupled with the good performances of the Pepe-Sergio Ramos pair, made him lose his place in the starting line-up. Slowly, Raúl Albiol and Raphaël Varane got ahead of him in the hierarchy of central defenders. Carvalho was now expected to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season.

During the 2012-2013 season, he lost his number 2, which was now handed over to Raphaël Varane, the newcomer of the year in defence, so he took the number 11. However, that's not all as he played some league matches. He was no longer called up for Real's matches, while his team-mate Raul Albiol was not considered as a regular player either.

His last season was the hardest, especially because his coach José Mourinho was dismissed at the end of the season. On 28 May 2013, he left Real after the end of his contract and joined AS Monaco FC. Now in this section of Ricardo Carvalho biography, we want to share more information about his career at Monaco.

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AS Monaco

On 28 May 2013, he signed a one-year contract with a second-year option with Monaco. The 2013-14 season started well: the Portuguese defender immediately found a place in the starting line-up alongside Éric Abidal. He made his debut with the Rouge et Blanc on 10 August 2013, in the 2-0 win against Bordeaux at the Jacques Chaban-Delmas Stadium.

On 1 September 2013, during the derby against Marseille (won 2-1), he was given a yellow card for the first time in his new team. His good performance contributed to second place in the league and a return to the Champions League after almost a decade. At the end of the year, his contract was renewed for another year.

The 2014-2015 season began with the dismissal of Italian coach Claudio Ranieri and the arrival of Portuguese Leonardo Jardim. With the new coach, he immediately found a place in the starting line-up alongside Italian defender Andrea Raggi. The departure of players like James Rodríguez and Radamel Falcao had affected the players psychologically, leading to a bad start of the season.

In the first match of the season, which was lost 2-1 against Lorient, the Portuguese defender was sent off for a double yellow card. After the team' resumption, he injured his calf on 30 November 2014, which forced him to sit on the bench for a month. He returned to the pitch on 14 January 2015 and suffered from muscle problems and had to sit out twelve days. On 9 February he was injured again and was sidelined for a month. On 29 March, he was injured during the national team match and missed the Champions League quarter-final against Juventus.

On 2 July he renewed his contract for another year. The following year he made 33 appearances and scored 2 goals contributing to third place in the league with a direct entry in the Champions League. On 9 August 2016, he terminated his contract with the Monaco club.

Shanghai SIPG

After a month's trial, he was signed by Shanghai SIPG on 9 January 2017. On 4 November he played his last official match for the Chinese club.

Portugal National Team

Carvalho started with the Portuguese national team on 11 October 2003, in a friendly match against Albania (5-3). He became one of the key members of the national team, becoming a starter at Euro 2004 replacing Fernando Couto after an initial defeat against Greece. His partnership with Jorge Andrade enabled


to reach the final of the competition (0-1 defeat against Greece). After the Euro, he was included in the team of the tournament alongside his team-mates Maniche, Luís Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Carvalho took part in a second international competition with his selection at the 2006

World Cup

, where Portugal finished fourth. He was involved indirectly in the dismissal of Wayne Rooney in the quarter-final against England. He also caused France's winning penalty in the semi-finals (0-1).

During this match, he received his second yellow card of the competition which prevented him from playing in the third-place match against Germany (1-3). However, he had participated in all of Portugal's previous matches in the competition, alongside Fernando Meira, which allowed him to join the "All-Star Team" of the competition.

He also took part in Euro 2008, where he played three of Portugal's four matches in the competition: the 2-0 victory against Turkey, the 3-1 victory against the Czech Republic and the 2-3 defeat in the quarter-final against Germany.

In 2011, he ended his international career following a conflict with coach Paulo Bento, who described him as a "deserter". Carvalho had left the national squad camp when he learned that he would not be starting in a match against Cyprus in the qualifiers for Euro 2012.

He returned to the national team more than three years later at the age of 36, in October 2014, being called up by the new coach Fernando Santos for two matches against France and Denmark. He marked his 76th international appearance by entering the second half of the match against France. In March 2015, he scored his first international goal in more than eight years in a 2-1 victory over Serbia.

Summoned to Euro 2016, on 10 July he became the oldest player to win this competition, at the age of 38 years, 1 month and 22 days.

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Coaching Career

After retiring from playing professional football at Shanghai SIPG, he joined Andre Villas-Boas’ coaching team when he moved on to manage Marseille in Ligue 1. Carvalho played under his management at the Chinese club before. In February 2021, after a series of incidents that led to Andre Villas-Boas’ dismissal from the club, he left Marseille alongside the head coach.

Now in this section of Ricardo Carvalho biography, we want to share more information about his playing style.

Style of Play

Being always a centre back who stands out with his intelligence, his skill to read the game and the ability to stop the play. He is fast, strong in the air and possesses an excellent technique and good throwing skill that has prompted the press to compare Carvalho with the iconic Italian defender Franco Baresi. While he lacks the physical power of other defenders, he is renowned for his tenacity and hard-fought playing style.


According to many football fans and critics all over the world, Ricardo Carvalho was undoubtedly one of the best centre backs in the world during his best career days at Chelsea and his first season at Real Madrid. Some even regard him as one of the best central defenders to ever play at English Premier League.

Goal Celebration

As he has not scored many goals during his playing career and after those 24 goals he scored at club level he did celebrate differently each time, we cannot single out a goal celebration here.

Ricardo Carvalho outside Football

Carvalho has said several times that after retiring from playing football he has put his family first and wants to spend time with his wife and his three children.

In an interview with the Portuguese website JN, Carvalho has talked about the difficulties of living in the Coronavirus pandemic days with his family.

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Ricardo Carvalho Personal Life

In this section of Ricardo Carvalho biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some info about

Ricardo Carvalho life story


Ricardo Carvalho religion


Family, Children and Relationships

Ricardo Carvalho has always said that he is very close to his father and mother, who he visited every weekend in Amarante when he played for the youth team of FC Porto and lived in Invicta.

In those times, while the other teenagers stayed in Porto and went for drinks, Ricardo took the bus and went directly to Amarante to enjoy his spare time with his family. Ricardo’s older brother is a police officer.

Ricardo Carvalho has married his girlfriend and the couple has three children together. His first son is also a footballer and plays in the youth ranks of FC Porto.


Just like many other famous football players, Ricardo Carvalho is also involved in many charity works both when he was a player and now that he has retired from playing football. For example, in the summer of 2019, Carvalho, alongside other retired Chelsea legends like Joe Cole played in a UNICEF charity match, where Ricardo Carvalho was in the World XI team.

Legal Issues

In October 2017, the Madrid Regional Court has sentenced Portuguese international footballer Ricardo Carvalho to 7 months in prison for tax crimes, committed in 2011 and 2012, related to the hidden income from image rights.

The Portuguese player reached an agreement with the Spanish tax office and the suspended prison sentence was replaced by a fine. The Spanish justice confirmed the agreement between the Tax Authority and Ricardo Carvalho, in which the player, which was with Shanghai SIPG at the time, acknowledged having committed the charges against him when he was representing Real Madrid.

Ricardo Carvalho was also sentenced to pay a fine of 142,822 euros, considering "disproportionate" the penalties requested by the Public Ministry, of one year in prison and nearly 300,000 euros of fine.

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Ricardo Carvalho Career Statistics

In this section of Ricardo Carvalho biography, we will take a look at his career stats both on the club and international level.


In his 20-years career between 1997 and 2017, Ricardo Carvalho has gone on to play 610 matches and scored 24 goals. The highlight of his career is the six seasons he spent with Chelsea, where he played 210 matches, scoring 11 goals.


Between 2003 and 2016, Ricardo Carvalho represented his country 89 times and scored 5 goals for Portugal in these matches.

Ricardo Carvalho Honors

He is amongst the most decorated Portuguese footballers on the club level. Of his notable titles and awards, we can mention Portuguese Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, English Premier League, FA Cup, Copa del Rey, La Liga and Ligue 1.

With Portugal national team, Ricardo Carvalho has won the 2016 UEFA European Championship.

He has won many individual titles and awards, which most notable of them include UEFA Club Best Defender of the Year, UEFA Team of the Year, UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament and FIFA World Cup All-Star Team among others.

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source: SportMob